Just over 13% of the total number of volunteers who made final selection for the 2016 military skills development (MSD) intake of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) did not report for duty.
With the SA Air Force’s January intake only due to report for duty at month-end, this figure could rise further. Indications are it will not be by much because the airborne arm of service is taking only 100 volunteers. It will, however, have a mid-year intake when another 100 volunteers are expected to enter SA Air Force ranks.
The 2 066 volunteers, with the exception of the SA Air Force (SAAF) MSDs, who made it through final MSD selection, reported for duty at various army, military medical health service and navy bases over the weekend of January 9 and 10.
The SA Army, as the single largest component of the SANDF, as usual drew the largest number of MSD volunteers – 1 558. A thousand three hundred and sixty-two reported for duty as instructed by call-up papers.
The SA Military Health Service should have been 165 new members stronger on Monday but only 137 reported and are now in uniform.
The SA Navy was allocated 293 MSD volunteers and 240 of them are now starting basic training.
On completion of basic military training the MSD volunteers will receive further training in particular musterings. These range from fire and emergency services through to chefs and other support functions as well as various combat musterings in the landward and maritime arms of service.
On completion of the two-year MSD training period the majority of the volunteers leave and join the Reserve Force with some being offered short-term contracts in the regular force.